On day four they asked us to observe something called a samkara, rougly
can translated as 'sensation'. Four days of meditative silence by then, calmed
down many of the chirpy voices that usually play at the back of my mind.
Uneding loops of ad jingles to upcoming tasks. All died.
By Day 5 I was very calm. Almost with no thought. Except for a worry that
I might catch cold. Juxtaposing the power of now, every now and then, in
every break, I would come out and watch the trees and listen to the birds.
Being completely present. It filled me with a feeling of triumph.
In order to understand Vipassana, you need to understand Samkara.
To begin with, the instructor asked me to observe the sensations I have
ON my nose. Concentrate on nothing but ON the nose.
Did you ever experience going numb? Your leg gets numb, you feel nothing
and you do stuff like rubbing or shaking to bring it back to senses. Remember
how is feels like? It feels like stages or onion skins. Stage by stage you finally
regain total sensation. Observing your nose is exactly opposite to that. At first
you observe a tiny pressure spot here, a tinge there, a twitch, slight vibration
etc. They appear and disappear. (Anischya, Anischya, or This too shall pass).
Then you enter a stage two. Now you can observe more number of samkaras.
Some of them lasting a longer. Most of them lasting only for a second. Some of
them pleasant. Some of them itchy, some of them painful, some of them just
You then enter stage three. Now you can observe samkaras that are not just
ON the nose but area little deeper inside the skin. You can FEEL, the upper
skin, the flesh behind it, the insides of your nostrils, the beginning of your
nose, the tip of your nose, the end of your nose. Its not visualization. It is
feeling it. You can observe samkaras passing through, emerging,
disappearing, reappearing, piercing, swimming, cutting through, dissolving
You then enter stage four. Now your nose is nothing but a collection of vibrant
appearing and disappearing sensations. There is no solidity anymore.
Every sensation that you feel is temporary. It is going to die. This simple
excercise is the foundation of Vipassana. It is mind blowingly simple.
As simple as E = M*c*c.
You like some of the sensations. You will develop a craving for them.
You hate some of the sensations. You will develop an aversion for them.
You become happy when you are able to observe the sensations as
instructed.You get frustrated when you dont observe the sensations.
This is the fundamental building block of human sorrow. You apply
labels to everything you perceive.You like some.You dont like some.
You want some.You dont want some.
When you get what you like, when you get what you want, you are
happy.When you get what you dont like or when you dont get what
you want,you are unhappy.
You want to be happy. You dont want to be unhappy.
Inside, outside. Outside, inside.
P.S: All the opnions and conclusions are strictly mine. That was my
experience and my conclusions. Truth or whatever is experienced
in totally different ways by each and every individual.
I am sure, if I take up the same Vipassana course again, my
conclusions will differ, given the new circumstances and new
experiences that I added up in between.
Truth I say, is what you experience 'now'. Its not your past
or its not your future. It is impermanent. (Contrary to the
popular belief that truth is absolute.).
My good friend Leela, with her superior writing skills, did a great
job of narrating her own Vipassana experience. Interested readers
might want to check her blog http://absolutelee.rediffblogs.com